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Yahoo Search Engine and Directory Forum

This 67 message thread spans 3 pages: 67 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Yahoo on the Brink of Throwing out The Golden Goose?

 8:51 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Much of the scuttlebut recently has revolved around a simple question: will Yahoo toss the directory out when it goes to full Inktomi powered results?

That was once sacrilege to ask, but it is pretty clear that the directory model is a relic of history.



 8:53 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

>the directory model is a relic of history.
except for our own niche directories of course :)


 8:56 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like the directories. Often times there is only one or two sites in a SERP that relate to what I am looking for. I click on the directory listing on one of those sites and get a huge list of sites that do the same thing but are no where to be found in the SERPS.


 8:59 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think Yahoo! now sees the potential in search as their revenues through Overture were huge.

Why hit up webmsaters for $300 per year when you can nail them for $300 per day with Overture ads?


 9:02 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

it is pretty clear that the directory model is a relic of history

One of us is going to dine on our words in the next 2-3 years. Little side bet, oh lord and master of WW, on whom that will be?

And, may I add, will you be having mustard or mayonnaise with your quote?


 9:02 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I really hope they don't and doubt they will. Yes it may be a relic but why dump it? Its still a useful tool.


 9:07 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think they'll keep the directory but focus on search. Hey, if they can still generate income from paid directory submissions, why wouldn't they? Also, loyal users will expect the directory since it's always been there.


 9:07 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Large scale directories are dead. I find on-topic niche directories preferable to search engines.


 9:10 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would imagine if they do cut the directory they will stop allowing submissions to it right now, either that or they will have thousands of people writing them for refunds, since they paid for the year.

I still think the model will be PFI, into the directory, and then CPC overture style as an enhancement.

Figure Inktomi makes 30 dollars per submission for PFI now, they could be making 300 from it if it was part of the directory, in addition to the money each site would get hand reviewed and placed in its proper category...it seems like it would make sense.


 9:14 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

If Yahoo! dumped their own directory would Google follow suit, or would it compel them to add / subtract weight to ODP?

Or if the Yahoo! directory was no longer useful to them, would they consider selling it?


 9:27 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm with ogletree. There are more than a few occasions when the best results are in the directory. They can't just throw it away.

Then again, Brett, your post is worded in such a way that you seem to be hinting you know something you can't really talk about openly. So rather than say it out loud, pose it as a hypothetical..... :)

Why hit up webmsaters for $300 per year when you can nail them for $300 per day with Overture ads?

Because there are a lot more webmasters and business owners that can afford $300/year?


 9:29 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Or Yahoo could keep the directory and when presenting Ink results, they could introduce a slight negative bias for sites not in the directory.

This could hide under the guise of "Link Popularity".


 9:36 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

If yahoo did can the directory, I wonder how they would they refund everyone's money.
For a few sites I just paid for the year, I hope I would get my money back if they discontinued it before then.


 9:45 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't their terms mention that there's no guarantee and they could include you now, but pull you later? I wonder if they'd have to issue any refunds.


 9:46 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<If yahoo did can the directory, I wonder how they would they refund everyone's money. >>

When they stopped allowing certain types of sites, the webmasters got 0 refunds. By giving them $300 you are not guaranteed a thing and they have no problem hosing you.

Anyway, if they keep the directory as it is now, it is basically gone as it is used less than mamma.com :)

[edited by: mfishy at 9:48 pm (utc) on Jan. 22, 2004]


 9:47 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

They could save a lot of money in employee cost.

I like human reviewed directories for the quality factor.


 9:52 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sometimes the visionaries see something the average person doesn't. Judging from the way Yahoo already started pushing their directory toward the side burner, I'd say Brett is asking a reasonable question.


 9:57 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think the directory stays, its the best at Yahoo and now when they get inktomi the directory will be mutch more popular, because of the bad results from Inktomi.

I think it is still a good business model for Yahoo,



 10:04 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here's the vision: Business search will be a battleground for the next decade and the hair will be flying as there are billions are stake.

Printed yellowpages? Slowly but certainly dying.

Citysearch? A lot of viability in the "community guide" model - just a bit more labor intensive. Look for a buy-in/buy-out of that model by the yellowpages. Fits neatly with their existing model.

Online megadirectory? A few will survive and fewer will thrive.

Niche directory? Maybe as a stand alone, more likely as a directory/community focused on the niche. Organic traffic from people looking for more than just a directory....and from people just looking for a directory.

One of my favorite movies sums it all, what is gone and what's to come in the world of "looking up a business"...

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

-Terrance Mann in the movie, "Field of Dreams"

Substitute "business search" or maybe even "business directory" for baseball.


 10:17 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Under the current business model, directories are in significant trouble. However without directories, some search engines such as Google would suffer immensely. Google's results critically depend on it's respected sources. It has been staring Yahoo in the face for years that Google is not much more than a leecher of directories' intellectual property value. Looksmart realized this years ago and banned Google from crawling their directory.

Independent human-sanctioned quality ratings are the most valuable and reliable source of ranking currency for search engines that currently exist.

In this context, the solution is obvious. Yahoo demands a large monthly fee from Google for crawling it's directory. Naturally Google will then argue that it has many alternatives and will refuse to pay the fee for fear of others following suit. Yahoo's next move would be to have a friendly chat with AOL about its Dmoz directory and that's when things could get very interesting. It's only a matter of time before AOL and Yahoo hire management technically-advised well and insightful enough to fully understand this combined position of power......


 10:17 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with ogletree, clicking on a directory category under a useful link is a great feature. I do use that. I suppose they could outsource the directory or use some other directory.


 10:33 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

whilst i admire your sentiment brett, i think yahoo would have to drop -- or at least change well ahead of time -- this page:


there's simply no way they could justify having recently charged anyone for inclusion into their directory if it's going to be dropped in the very near future.

if/when that page changes significantly - or disappears - then i might concur with your view.

interesting thought though.


 10:38 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well since they pay my rent, I might be little biased but niche directories are the way to go.

General directories with a couple of lines of description and link just can't compete with specialty ones that have data fields specific to the subject matter, intelligent cross-linking, etc.

For the people who like to hit the toolbar directory button (and I'm one of them), you know it is permissable to search keyword directory.


 11:01 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

IF they care about the *user*...eh em...no reason to cut out the directory. Too many people find it useful. ;-)

But...in the real world, most companies only care about the user because doing so leads to greater sales and more profit. (If a company stops caring about the user completely, profit will deteriorate; if they only care about the user, margins will deteriorate.)

This will turn into the old battle between margin and quality. The ultimate question will be: how many people and business users will we aggravate if we drop the directory, versus how much more will we make? Risk, reward.


 11:14 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Directories are dead, to hard to manage when you have a model like CPC from Overture in which you get paid continuously for traffic.


 11:16 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I actually believe that we are going to see a resurgence of directories in the coming couple of years. Let's face it; the quality of SERPs is actually worse than it was a year or two ago, and Google is getting more and more clogged up with junk.

Human edited directories, when managed properly, don't have that problem to the same extent.


 11:22 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google is getting more and more clogged up with junk.

Another possibility is to gather a lot of user input about what's really good. There should be a google mouse with ten buttons on it. As you click on links, you rate the page you're leaving from 1 to 10.


 11:24 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)


I love the human directory results, but when you think about financial aspect of paying editors on staff to look over the directory and handling new submissions when they are charging you only $300 for year it didnt make sense anymore after seeing the revenue from Overture's CPC model.


 12:39 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Human edited directories are the wave of the future, not the past. You really have to have been in a coma or something to not notice the amount of utter drivel being put out on the Internet that *appears* to a bot to be of value, but is just quasi-mirrors, doorways and gibberish content. In contrast, the best results for any search feature sites from a well-edited directory. The directory problem is the mass scale, and whether it is profitable to make good search results. But the public has spoken clearly on this point... they like high quality results. They don't like who-pays-the-most results or who-knows-the-tricks-best results.

A search engine that relies heavily on a human edited directory will always beat one that relies purely on bots. And to "rely heavily" doesn't mean you need to do a 100% good job. A search engine that uses a directory that is up to date 20% of the time is going to produce higher quality results in general.

More to the point of thread, why on earth would they get rid of the Directory? LOL. It just sits there, basically out of the way, making some bucks.

"Hey Boss, this Directory thing is only making us a few million bucks, let's get rid of it."


 1:01 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Human edited directories, when managed properly, don't have that problem to the same extent.

I agree with you, but Yahoo doesn't properly manage their directory. In categories that are prone to spam, they have allowed almost all of it in and sold out their directory for $299/year. IMO, the reason they switched to Google for their primary SERPS instead of their directory back in Oct. 02 was because they had allowed it to become so spammy.

This 67 message thread spans 3 pages: 67 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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